‘Faith, Trust + Pixie Dust’: 2016 Graduate Commencement Highlights

2016 JWU Providence Graduate Commencement at the Providence Performing Arts Center.

One student’s decorated mortarboard said it all: “All it needed was faith, trust, and a little pixie dust.” JWU Providence’s 2016 Graduate Studies Commencement ceremony was all about transition, transformation and the culmination of a lot of hard work.

Held at the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC), the historic theatre was the perfect setting for a milestone ceremony that awarded a total of 261 graduate degrees, including the university’s first-ever degrees awarded in the health sciences.

In her Commencement address, Brown University Dean of Public Health Terrie Fox Wetle emphasized “a shared duty” to improve population health: “I encourage you to see the connection between your new professional careers and the opportunity to contribute to population health. Your skills are desperately needed and are crucial to understanding and improving how services are effectively delivered and financed.”

Dean Wetle was honored with a Doctor of Humane Letters, while United Way of Rhode Island President Anthony Maione received a Doctor of Business Administration in Management.

JWU’s Center for Physician Assistant Studies graduated its first class of 23 new PAs at the ceremony. Of the 23, 9 have taken jobs in state — increasing access to quality health care for more Rhode Islanders.

The university also graduated its first class of MS Counseling students.

Total degrees awarded:

  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership: 18
  • Master of Science: 26
  • Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies: 23
  • Master of Arts in Teaching: 1
  • Master of Business Administration: 193

Newly-minted alum Kyle Luke, who serves as coordinator of culinary operations at JWU’s Harborside Campus, got down on bended knee to propose to girlfriend Mammie Keith. She said yes!

A perfect ending to a memorable ceremony.


PA class of 2017.

Speaker Brown University Dean of Public Health Terrie Fox.

Happy grads.

Mortarboard faith trust pixie dust.

Grads share a fist bump.

Grads cheer.

A proposal.